Welcome to English Linguistics in the Department of English at Saarland University

The central areas of teaching and research at the Section of English Linguistics are concerned with the correspondences between form and meaning available in natural language. Key questions and issues in our investigations are: How can the systematic nature of English sentences be explained within the cognitive system of human language? In which areas can we identify telling differences and similarities, respectively, compared to earlier stages of the language, to currently spoken varieties of English, and to other languages? What are the subtle regularities of grammatical structures; what are the consequences for our understanding of the still largely underappreciated linguistic system in general? 


News and Events



Prof. Gergel will be on sabbatical during the summer term 2024. If you are planning to take final exams, this should be possible, but please coordinate well ahead.


Remus Gergel to give invited talks on HUDSPA (the Human Diachronic Simulation Paradigm) at the universities of Venice and Frankfurt in May 2024. 

This year's  Poster Day took place on February 8th in connection with the seminar "Texts and structures through time".

Remus Gergel and Maike Puhl presented work on the Saarland adverb nommo, 'again' at theSardis conference 2023 on German dialects . 

Project workshop on decomposition and presuppositions in theoretical and computational linguistics featuring invited talks by Prof. Sigrid Beck, Tübingen, Prof. James Pustejovsky, Brandeis, and Prof. Joost Zwarts, Utrecht took place in November 2023.

Martin Kopf and Remus Gergel presented project work on decompositional annotation at the 17th Linguistic Annotation Workshop (ALC 2023, July 13) in Toronto and at the TbiLLC 2023 conference in Georgia in September 2023.

Remus Gergel also presented work on the semantics of a newly discovered reading of the prefix re- at the conference Sinn und Bedeutung in Bochum in September 2023.

Remus Gergel gave invited talks on the Human Diachronic Simulation Paradigm (HUDSPA) at 'Sentence Grammar - Discourse Grammar' in Tübingen in July and as a keynote at 'Formal Diachronic Semantics' in Budapest in November 2022.

Kurt Erbach gave a poster presentation based on joint work with Remus Gergel at the Comparative Germanic Workshop in Chicago in October 2022.

Martin Kopf presented joint project work on annotational techniques and results at the ESSLLI workshop 'Bridges and gaps between formal and computational linguistics' in Galway in August 2022.

Our group and Edgar Onea's group at the University of Graz gave a presentation on innovative methods of combining experimental and diachronic linguistics at the ELM 2 conference in Philadelphia in May 2022 (Gergel, Puhl, Dampfhofer & Onea, forthcoming). 

The reviewed volume Particles in German, English, and Beyond ed. by Remus Gergel, Ingo Reich & Augustin Speyer has been published with John Benjamins!



Prof. Ursula Lenker (LMU Munich) gave a talk on 'Speaking Objects in Early English Literacy' on January 18, 2024.

Dr. Márta Abrusán (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris) gave a talk on 'Projection, attention and the meaning of negation' on July 12,2023.

Dr. Nadine Bade (University of Potsdam) gave a talk on 'Word learning and the triggering problem for presuppositions' on June 28, 2023.

Prof. Kristin Eide (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) gave a talk on 'A new approach to teaching grammar (— or not?). A presentation of the new text book "Språket som superkraft»/«La Lengua como superpoder»/«Language is the human superpower»/«Sprache als Superkraft»'on May 3, 2023 and on 'Old Norse modals'on May 11, 2023.

Prof. Viorica Lifari (State University of Moldova) talked on 'Lexical and Grammatical Exceptions or Irregularities of Modern English in Terms of Language Development' on April 27, 2023.

Prof. Kristín Jóhannsdóttir (University of Akreyri) gave a guest lecture on 'The Progressive Aspect in Icelandic and English' on December, 13, 2022.

Dr. Martin Fuchs (Yale University) gave a guest lecture on 'Integrating parallel corpora and experimental research in crosslinguistic tense-aspect semantics: a multi-pronged approach to the Perfect' on July, 6, 2022.

Prof. Edgar Onea (University of Graz) gave a guest lecture on 'On embedded questions: semantics and pragmatics'  on May 5, 2022.

Dr. Nicola Swinburne (University of Oxford) gave a guest lecture on 'The grammaticalization of do-support in the northern Italian Camuno dialect' on February 3, 2022.

Students presented their empirical work on the Structure and Meaning of English Varieties at this term's Poster Day on February 10, 2022 .

2022 started with three exciting guest talks (all in virtual mode): Prof. Gareth Roberts, UPenn (Jan. 27, 16h): Synonymy and semantic change in laboratory languages; Dr. Kurt Erbach, Düsseldorf (Feb. 2, 12h): Semantic change in the history of the English countability system. Dr. Nicola Swinburne, Oxford (Feb. 3, 10h): The grammaticalization of do-support in the northern Italian Camuno dialect.


Earlier Highlights

Our chair has been awarded a DFG-funded project to work on decompositional adverbials („Decomposing decomposition“) which has already started to fund several students. The project began work on July 1, 2021. (Abstract)

Remus Gergel, Ingo Reich and Augustin Speyer organized a workshop on Particles in German, English and beyond on January 21-22, 2019.  Click here for the workshop website.

Our chair organized the second edition of Formal Diachronic Semantics on November 20-21, 2017: http://fods2.uni-saarland.de

39th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society in Saarbrücken from March 8th to 10th, 2017.